>PDF would be great, so what I now wonder, how good is really ps2pdf? It
>can't be Adobe Distiller but does it even does the work properly? Are
>vector-graphics converted to bitmaps somwhere in the process? 

I typeset all of my things with plain TeX.  This is much nastier
than LaTeX, but I learned it in a year or so.  I also use ps2pdf
quite often on the output, so that I can print from window boxes
in the labs, and the output is just fine.  The main problem with
the postscript output is that the fonts are bitmaps, so you only
have a set resolution.  I set my default to 2400 dpi which is as
good as any printer I've ever seen.  Postscript figures are kept
as postscript, though.  You can use xfig to get your images, but
I prefer using metapost (which is scriptable).  You can use Gimp
for making bitmaps as well, but you need a fast computer to work
with the kind of resolution you will want (the file size is huge
since postscript isn't compressed).  Imagine a 4x4" picture with
1200 dpi resolution; that's 19200x19200 pixels, and thus hard on
your computer.  Of course if you only want greyscale it's not as
bad (postscript does support color though).

  Next would be the ps2pdf conversion.  This is good, although I
think it only supports something like 600 dpi.  Any vector input
is not converted to bitmap, so resolution is only a problem with
TeX and gimp input (most people post documents on the web at 300
dpi, so resolution isn't really a problem at all).  pdf does use
compression, so your big file sizes will be chopped down a bit.

  If you want to see the conversion in action, I have a few docs
on my web site which I've used these different methods:
They use TeX/metapost, TeX/xfig, TeX/gimp, metapost, and xfig.

  My xpdf doesn't display the fonts of TeX quite right and AFAIK
gv only supports 16 colors but everything prints out perfect and
displays right in Windows.

  So my recomendation is to bite the bullet and learn how how to
typeset.  It really isn't that bad, and your results  will be so
much more beautiful than anything that Distiller puts out.  Hope
this email wasn't too long...
-James Smaby

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